Posted 23rd June 2015 by APSIS

Data not cool? Think again…

“Everybody wants to work for Google”, exclaims my colleague, after a chat with a fellow networker about recruiting CRM and data managers.
It seems no one wants to work with ‘data’ anymore – it’s just not cool. ‘Digital’ and ‘Tech’ are the words now. Young newcomers want lights and touch screens, not numbers and green screens.
There is a chasm in the employment market for data specialists – everyone working with old CRMs is retiring, and the new blood coming through is focused on new technologies and methodologies. CRM is often stooped in traditional processes and archaic systems, with the reliance on one person who has been doing it for years and is approaching retirement, so doesn’t want to change anything.
Twice now in last two weeks we’ve had conversations where the Digital guy and the Data guy either aren’t talking, aren’t talking about the same things or just don’t understand each other.
The shift from the M4 Corridor to Silicon Roundabout is a cultural, as well as economic and geographic, trend. We could point the lifecycle model at it, as well as all sorts of other market theories that Microsoft, Oracle and IBM represent a declining establishment and that Google, Facebook and tech start-ups are the places to be. The Government has also had an input, with its well-documented investment in – and ongoing support of – London’s Tech City.
Digital is cool because of the plethora of online/offline gizmos and wow factors involved, and because of the principal application of the tech – communication.
Working with data is not necessarily synonymous with direct communication. Building integrations, processing information, generating insights, amalgamating data sources and archiving are not as appealing or ‘cool’ as once they were. But the action that comes from the insight is cool – apps, community development, cross-channel campaigns. The industry is becoming ever more focused on the action, or the application of the data – the action is the cool bit!
The digital industry is driven by data – whether it’s the CMO vs CIO debate, or Data vs Digital, or Microsoft vs Google, or Tech City vs the M4 Corridor, there is definitely a shift. But in that shift, let’s not forget that the ‘boring’ data stuff is still what makes the ‘cool’ digital stuff tick.
The upshot of the shift from data to digital is that new technologies are able to do the data bit far more easily and quickly. Multiple silos can be amalgamated to form a single view of every customer, and that view can be used by communication platforms and systems in real time.
The people, processes and technology are out there to ensure data and digital both sing from the same hymn sheet. Working with data is as cool as it’s ever been.
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This post was written by Martin Wallace